Monday, December 15, 2008

By the Power of Grey Skull Castle!

I can't believe this is online now!! Such a trip from the past! Last time I remember watching this show I was still looking forward to visits from the tooth fairy.

I LOVED this show as a kid. I had the sword, Cringer the Tiger, a fully-functioning Grey Skull castle, and a Skeletor action figure (I may have had He-Man, too, I don't remember). Thanks buying all that stuff for me, Mom!!!

Now, looking at this show . . . wow, I can't believe how bad it was. Still, in our current reflection of 80's economics, perhaps we can learn a thing or two from He-Man:



Also, check out the opening creds, to learn all you need to know about HE-MAN!:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Twitter-tastic!!!

So planners, business strategists, and ad people are going crazy over Twitter. I have been incredibly reticent to join.

What if I ended up like this?:



P.S.-Lisa Nova is brilliant!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mike Huckabee and Jon Stewart Talk about Gays in the U.S.

Wow. Okay. I teared up a little bit. A sincere, genuine exchange between two intelligent people. No screaming, no histrionics.

My favorite quote from Jon:
"Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have for religion? We protect religion -- and talk about a lifestyle choice -- that is absolutely a choice. Gay people don't choose to be gay."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Life Update (Vlog)

V-Log, Vlog . . . I prefer vlog.

Little life update, sparing you lots of reading.

The Hazards of YouTube

So my haircutting video has elicited a peculiar following amongst Samson-swooning strangers who have sent me various opinions about my ruthless hair shortening.

None, however, surpasses the following email I received. Whether joke or not, it definitely makes me second guess having personal vids up for public consumption and commentary.

I was left completely flummoxed.


jockhair1
...

SIR...YOU HAVE GREAT HAIR!!
...
SIR...YOU HAVE GREAT HAIR!!
Sir,

I am a big nerd that ADORES guys that are studs with the ladies and have great hair like yours...it is a shame that u felt compelled to cut your cooooool hair...


I am willing to buy u Bed Head Shapoo (Vitamins) and CatwalkOatmeal & honey Conditioner (Soy & wheat protein), and some good gel....along with money to get ur hair cut and styled by a hot ass chick!!

All I ask in return, is that u take me to the barbershop and make me get a dumb and dumber dork haircut and while ur inspecting it....dot my left eye and make it a nice shade of purple!!


I would be HONORED to clean ur shoes while ur in the barberchiar while I will keep my hair greasy so u can hock a loggy in it and comb it into my dork hair..


PLEASE VISIT MYSPACE URL: laodecia_generation


Be sure to read my profile, my "Loyalty Contract" under a blog entitled "how this nerd rol(e)s and plays" -- also check out the dork haircut I want unde PIC entitled "The Dork Thing"...you can also check out my PIC entitled "Jocks with great hair"

I WOULD BE HONORED TO BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP A STUD LIKE YOU...SIR!!

Please respond!!


~Dork

(Chris)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why Can't I Find Love Like This??

Sometimes it feels like all of life's problems can be solved with just the right amount of fat and sodium. Sigh.



Of course, my fear--as is also my fear in people love--is that I will order Taco Town's latest jewel of heavenly inspiration, and I will end up having an experience like this: http://keepyourreceipt.blogspot.com/2008/12/tastes-like-disappointment.html

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

MILK


MILK on the other hand, was really great. You will probably read many wonderful reviews of it, so I will only say a few things. Sean Penn was truly transformative and masterful. Gus Vant Sant did a great job of being honest about the time, while still keeping the gay community relatable.

One thing that did strike me, that this film really brought out, is that the struggle for gay rights is about life. Literally. Wherever you may have stood on prop 8, I think most of you, my friends, are compassionate people, and it is horrible to think how many gay people have lost their lives not only to hate crimes, but to suicide.

Too many people are filled with self-loathing, confusion, fear of rejection or damnation because of their sexual orientation. They see no better option than to leave this world. This is not just a thing of the 1970's, I have known of people in my own generation, students and alumni of BYU, who have ended their lives because of their own strife over their sexual orientation.

In my own struggle to advance gay equality, a very real part of that is to be acknowledged as a very real human being, equal to you in every way, a contributive member of society, who in no way deserves to be treated as less than you.

This struggle to be acknowledged as human is critical and benefits not just those who choose to lead a life out of the closet, but even those who chose to remain in your religious enclaves, because no matter how much you may pat them on the head, "tolerate" them, or encourage them to pray the gay away, until they see themselves as real human beings, worthy of everything you have, they cannot love and accept themselves, and thus accept the love God also offers freely. And I believe accepting that love is critical to any religion's doctrine of redemption and peace. And perhaps then when they accept that, they may even be happy in your circles.

I was glad to have seen this movie, and hope to see it again, perhaps in the historic Castro Theater.

Australia



Baz Luhrmann may soon join Mel Gibson on my list of blacklisted directors.

I just saw Australia, and I sorely miss the three hours of my life that I will never get back.

This movie was seriously unbelievable. It was like a Disney-made-for-TV movie hopped up on HD. The script went through every possible ridiculous cliche. You would think that the stellar acting abilities of Nicole Kidman and High Jackman would still somehow save it, but instead they took the cliches further, portraying parodies of their own characters.

One problem with packing a film with every possible cliche, is that you then have to include every possible story arc. Which Australia did. Hence the butt-numbing three hour long film reel.

The film is at times saved by the juicy colors and panoramic landscapes. Then again, at other times, the awkward compositions and cartoony effects just serve to remind you that you're watching a really bad movie.

I was so disappointed. I was genuinely excited about Australia. I should have remembered how over-the-top all of Lurhmann's films are. Romeo and Juliet is the only film of his that I have genuinely liked so far, and I think that is because, well, freakin' Shakespeare wrote it. And Claire Danes is brilliant. But, Strictly Ballroom . . . was nice enough, but forgettable. Again cliche. And then Moulin Rouge . . . I am sorry, but over-the-top is not in it with that one. I want to like it, and darn Baz, it does haunt me and even touch me, but it's garishness never ceases to repel me.

My advice, save yourself the ten bucks and the three hours. Don't believe me? Check out the reviews of Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly. They all say the same thing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mapple!!!

Just when you have lost hope, The Simpsons offers something beautiful and genius to renew one's love of the show. This goes out to all of you Mac users out there.

By the way, I can post because I own a Mac. And I am an ethnic minority.

*Thanks for this Dave of GH. ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rachel Getting Married



On Saturday, Travis (one of my dearest friends) and I decided to catch up over Mexican food and watch Rachel Getting Married.

Great movie, if you haven't seen it. Anne Hathaway does a knock-out job of playing a complicated, slightly unloveable recovering addict. The movie, as a whole, does a really great job of capturing the complexity and tension that riddles so many family gatherings.

The previews were also amazing. I am a dork, I hate missing previews, but, seriously, every preview in this movie was for a film I now really want to see.

In particular, Arnuad Desplechin's A Christmas Tale.




And the incredibly visually stunning Waltz with Bashir.




**Also, Gavin Newsom (current SF mayor, perhaps future CA governor) was in line with us to buy movie tickets. My giddy celebrity spot for the weekend.

***Sorry I have seriously fallen behind on blogging. When your life gets super busy (and thus bloggable) you never have time to blog! I am leaving out a lot of fun stuff, but lets just start over from here on out.

Dial House


Well, just as I have found a new amazing mentor to sink my teeth into (Cameron Maddux, Director of Account Planning at the Academy), he has found greener pastures at an amazing creative think-tank called Dial House in the SOMA of SF. A kind of rock-n-roll, buck-the-system consortium of deep thinkers that work on figuring out ways to define, strategize, communicate, and otherwise better existing brands, it is a great fit for Cameron. Sigh.

So being the awesome educator that he is, Cameron hosted a little after-hours soiree last Friday night at Dial House to kind of talk to Academy of Art planning people about where we can go from here and just to kind of say, "I am still here for you guys." Like I said, great educator; total sweetheart.

It was at Dial House that I met the much buzzed about Charlie Kouns (former Director of Planning at the Academy (AAU)). I was delighted to find Charlie to be a warm, imaginative Southerner with a love of stories and young people. I am looking forward to get to know him better.

In fact, Charlie and I got to talking about this project he is working on called Imagine Learning, designed to make education relevant to kids and what they need in today's world. I am so excited about it. This will be where my volunteer efforts will now be directed (ha! You didn't think I forgot about my vow of reformation, did you?). For those of you who don't know I have a pretty extensive background in child psych. and education.

I was also pleased to meet other young planners at Dial House. The conversations were interesting and humorous, and it was obvious that most of the people there had a good breadth of experiences and thinking. I may have found home. Hurray!

Hendrick's Party





In a city that's known for its Financial District, what do the people of San Francisco do when the economy takes a nose dive? Well, some of them seek escape in the roaring 20's at the Hendrick's Gin Party at The Ambassador.

Walking in was like entering another universe. Up-beat, swinging band music filled the air. Men in top hats and vests chatted in circles while beautiful women in corsets and feather-festooned headdresses laughed gaily at their sides. My friend, Mike, and I were immediately greeted by two . . . little people in full costume sitting on the bar. Burlesque dancers worked the crowd, contortionists worked the stage, and as we approached the bar (open bar, I might add) we passed by one of the entertainers that evening: a mustached transvestite monkey-man.

It was quite the extravaganza. Mingling with all these people, in this amazing roaring 20's setting while our own economy is going to crapper . . . it seemed so ironic. It also made me muse if this is perhaps what it was really like in the salons of 20's--laughter, gaiety, a certain degree of closeted hedonism, a noir sexiness. It was certainly a transportive experience.

Being a Hendrick's party, of course a first-rate drink menu was de rigueur. Hendrick's did not disappoint. If their objective was to recruit loyal followers, consider me their latest devotee. My favorite drinks of the evening were the White Cargo Punch (so creamy, nutmegy, and festive) and the Carte Blanche (nice and smooth and incredibly refreshing). However, in the future, I think I will be very happy with just a Hendrick's gin and tonic.

All-in-all, I had a wonderful time, and was most definitely charmed by my little foray into the 1920's.

*You can also look up the party at Nerve.com, an on-line mag that also hosted the party.

Return to the Thumpa-Thumpa




Friday night was a busy night! I made a triumphant return to the dance clubs of San Francisco. It had been too long. My recent trip to Santa Cruz ended up being a dancing disappointment, so after our fun at the Hendrick's party, Mike and I headed over to Cafe (a dance club in the Castro).

It felt so good to dance again!! And unlike some people, I much prefer the Cafe to Badlands. Badlands is just overcrowded, over-touristy, and over-creepy (I do NOT appreciate getting felt up while I try to dance). Plus the music at Badlands runs way to heavy in the Kylie Minogue/Cher/Madonna/house music set. Who can dance to that? If you can manage to dance whilst being pressed against your rude neighbors in congested sea of sweaty, sardines.

Cafe, while it may leave something to be desired in the crowd, has much more space and music that is much more pop-relevant, with a nice dose of hip-hop.

I also had a first at Cafe on Friday--at the behest of Mike, I asked for the number of this guy I started dancing with on the floor. He was pretty cute, and, well, Mike can be pushy/persuasive. I regret that decision to this day. Turns out cute boy is a 19-year old foreign exchange student from Italy!

He is nice and intelligent, but I have no desire to rob any cradles.

Nonetheless, I am glad to have made a re-entry into the SF club scene. Now I really have to make it back to Booty SF . . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Orangina is . . . "Effervescent"????

I promise I will never produce ads like this:

*caution it involves French animals being sexy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Power of YouTube







You like me! You really like me!

Ha ha ha. JK.

But I am seriously amazed at the power of YouTube. I posted a video of me giving myself a haircut at like 4am this morning. 16 hours later, it has been over 200 hundred times, been commented on once, gotten a 5 star rating (why I can't imagine), and had one person subscribe to my channel! Wow. In less then 24 hours, I have reached over 200 people. That is amazing. I now <3 YouTube.

Of course, now that I have a subscriber, the pressure is on to post more things of interest. I was hoping to just videocast in the future when I was too lazy to type long life updates . . . .

AAAA Future of Planning 2007

A New John is Shorn

When I first started this blog, my hair was as you see it in the upper right hand corner. I chopped it off shortly thereafter and have been growing it out since. And now . . .




. . . I may never go back.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Redemption through Volunteerism


Some of you may have thought I had forgotten about my personal vow to volunteer, but I have not.

I just got back from my training meeting for No on Prop 8 campaigning on Election Day.

I just wanted to write down my feelings while they're still fresh.

I just . . . . Honestly, I started welling up with tears seeing all of the wonderful people there who were joined together in a good cause, people of conviction and dedication who want good things. I wish you guys could have been there and seen these people, because, you know what? They look very unremarkable. They look like my science teacher, or my grocery bagger, or my friend's dad, or my old boss.

It felt so wonderful to be part of something greater than myself again.

I also had some sadness in my heart to know that people that I care about are out there actively trying to oppose these efforts.

Our desires are so simple: for family. It made me sad to think that people I love stand against that.

I put up the headline I did because my family is worth me making a few small sacrifices. I wish I had more time and resources to give to my own future family, but school obligations keep me very busy. In some ways, though, that seems like such a flimsy excuse. I have worked all of my life to try and be a good husband and father, and I do feel some shame that I have not spent more time working to ensure that I can have that.

I could have eschewed some of the dates I went on in favor of campaigning earlier.

I can only hope that the combination of our small contributions, and my own prayers (and the prayers others) will be enough. I will fast tomorrow, and pray, and do what I can.

The feeling in that room, though . . . it was good. I hope to be involved in more good causes to come in my life.

For all of you--I and hope you are approaching your voting decisions in a spirit of love, humility, and prayer and that you are seriously investigating the candidates you choose and make choices that stand for truth, justice, wisdom, and an investment in our future.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Carried" Away


I live in tiny apartment near the heart of the city. My space constraints led to me to this genius find, which I just painted--after three months of good intentions--yesterday. I am quite in love with the new color (and with cost of paint included, this table set me back a mere $20!).

I then zipped off to a fun coffee date, which has left me with a unique challenge: I have to design a skateboard by tonight for his new clothing store opening. If I win, I get a t shirt designed in my honor.

Race home. Get ready for a Clio Awards Screening downtown. The Clios are like the Oscars of the ad world.

Fast forward to the after-party at Sugar. I am famished! All I have had to eat that day is one bowl of cereal. There is no way I can join my friends in cocktails. I make a beeline for the hors d'oeuvres and dine on bacon-wrapped dates (AMAZING!), fun Greek pastries, mini cupcakes and spinach dip.

Suddenly, I wondered . . . ;) could I more like the fictional Carrie Bradshaw than I cared to believe?

Am I struggling single person in an urban city? Yes.

Am I a writer? Jury is still out. I may do copywriting.

Am I too skinny for my own good? Yes.

Do I have a big nose? Yes.

Do I spend too much time thinking about clothes and hair? Yes.

Did I basically spend my day running around with about 5 costume changes living off of
cocktails and hors d'oeuvres? Yes.

Do I go on a succession of dates with some real characters? Yes.

Is there a Mr. Big? May have been, but thank heavens that's over!

Am I doomed to the same screwed up life? Let's hope not.

Do I need to stop watching so many freakin' chick shows? Yes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cooking with Dad

A little diddy I put together for a class. It was pretty rushed, so not as polished as I want. I may edit it and repost. But have fun with it for now!

Also, for those of you who know me, you know I actually enjoy cooking very much, and I did take a bit of creative license, but everything is actually based in reality.

My Epicureal Evolution
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: john quintana)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Botox: Let's Face It, We're All Going to Need Some at Some Point

I don't want parentheses on my face (have to watch the vid to get it)! I'd better run out and get Botox.

Seriously, though if I don't stop furrowing my brow and expressing concern, I am going to start showing some serious signs of thought marring my forehead and mouth and who is ever going to love that?

Monday, October 20, 2008

YOSEMITE


Last weekend (these Monday posts are all in reverse chronological order from actuall occurrence), I went on an Academy of Art sponsored trip to Yosemite. For those of you who don't know, I attend the Academy. In San Francisco. California. With all the gays, hippies, and tech geeks.

Sadly, my school is lacking in all of those interesting characters. In my opinion, the composition of my school could use a bit more colorful variety. For an art school it has a very traditional student base. Previous art pun was unintended.

Well, despite their lack of colorful characters, the Academy puts on some ridiculously great activities. Ridiculous because I pay a ridiculous amount in tuition, and I imagine a huge chunk that goes to mixers, parties on boats, free pizza, and booze. Golly this is a post for digression!

Anyway. $65. A weekend in Yosemite. Covers travel, lodging, and most meals. How can you not do that? I tried talk ing my friend, Claudia, into coming but she was all tripped out. Er. She had already been on too many trips that month. I decided to venture alone. Surely I could make a few friends on the trip, right?

So the morning of the trip, I of course was running insanely behind, trying to do laundry, go the gym, do some last minute shopping, and drop off a cd at a friend's house. All by 11:30. Ha!

My hoodie was still damp when I headed to the Academy Admin Building. We ended up waiting two and half hours for the bus to arrive to pick us up!

That two hours could have been wisely spent schmoozing up to a new group of friends, but I figured there would be plenty of time for that and decided to read instead. Also, I felt incredibly awkward because most of the kids were freshman. Yes, 26 year old John surrounded by a bunch of teenagers. Isn't this the part where I am supposed to be like teaching them or something? Yeah. I just coudln't bring myself to be the creepy older guy trying to befriend the youngins.

So bus ride down I also read (thank heavens for ginger root and its magical anti- car sick properties). We got there super late and were assigned cabins. Dang it! Why didn't I try and put myself out there more? Now I had no idea who to sit with at dinner.

I got in line at the lodge for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised by everything. The cabins were reasonably decent. The lodge was really nice, and the menu was totally California poshy (you know with loads of arrugula, blue cheese, polenta, and crap).

Still unsure of where I would sit, the woman who took my order just lumped me in with the kids ahead of me and assigned us all to a table. Awkwaaaard!

They were actually pretty cool, but after covering everyone's majors, it became painfully clear we were in SUCH different places in our lives. They were still getting used to being away from home and college, I was getting used to thinking about how I am seriously going to balance this prospectively demanding career and raising children. What drove the point home even more, I was the only at the table with a beer. I don't drink with every meal (or even many meals), but I had ordered the pork roast and I thought beer was better option than the fruit punch.

As soon as dinner was over, I quickly retreated to the safety of my laptop. Thankfully, there was WiFi at the lodge! Ah. Modern technology. The night passed with out much event. We were all in bunk beds and the guy in the bunk above me woke me up when he came in at like 2 am. And woke me up every time he shifted in the bed. He was a pretty big guy. Oddly enough, I still have no idea what he looks like. I never saw his face.

The next morning we were supposed to take a shuttle in to the park and then we were free to go wherever we wanted. We were encouraged to stick in groups. Great. Still no group. At breakfast, a very sweet Asian girl came up to me and boldly asked, "Did you come here alone?"

Sigh. "Yes. I did."

She marveled at my bravery. I marveled at my desperation. I figured at this point everyone must know about the freak here alone; the pariah with the computer bag and recent issue of Conde Nast Portfolio (who brings a computer bag and business magazine on a camping trip?).

Sitting around the fire in the lodge, I realized time was running out. I sat by a trio with whom I had some cordial conversation a few times thus far. I hoped they would bring it up, but they did not, so I screwed up my courage and asked one of the hardest questions I have ever had to ask: "Would you mind if I join you guys on your hike?"

Sandra, the angel that she is replied, "Of course!"

And like that I was warmly welcomed into the group. They are really so great. The trio consisted of Sandra, a fashion student from Mexico, she is a bit older than me, also Adrianne, another fashion student, from So Cal, and Adrianne's boyfriend, Radi, from Kuwait, who just so happened to be getting his undergrad in Advertising.

They were interesting and easy-going, and actually offered some helpful advice, which is how we ended up at the Yosemite General Store hunting down a fleece sweater for me. Fleece. I hadn't owned anything fleece since 1999, and that was with a great deal of reservation. It is my own humble opinion that one should avoid synthetic fabrics as much as possible, unless they are quite intentionally ironic and/or vintage. But it was the late 90's, the Backstreet Boys were hot, and sometimes we made fashion choices with total abandon and disregard for good taste (witness the proliferation of skunky highlights at the time).

Anyway, there I was hunting down a fleece sweater that would not incite my gag reflex. I also purchased a walking stick, which is perhaps my favorite purchase of the last six months! I have been meaning to purchase one for a long time now. As many of you know, my arthritis burns like a mother sometimes when I go hiking, and being able to redistribute some of my weight to my upper body, would be a dream. Sometimes, when my knees would be hurting so bad I wanted to rip off my own legs and beat myself with them (only a mild exaggeration), I would like at hikers with those cool ski-pole-looking walking sticks with envy. I didn't buy one of those. It's just a simple wooden staff with a rubber heel. I will never go hiking without it again. Next hiking investment: those ski poles.

So the hike was great. My new friends were really awesome. We got some great pictures (which I will get around to posting on Facebook sometime this week). We hiked up to Vernal Fall.

That evening, back at the lodge was nice. The fire was crackling, there was a live band that came to perform (mostly Radiohead covers), and we decided to play a game of Uno. I had not played in a while, but it's Uno. Totally simple game. Wrong. Apparently, every human being on the planet has their own rules for playing Uno. We all tried to be amenable to suggested ammendations, but the game became one those interminable games where you stop caring who wins anymore. I think we had to shuffle and renew the draw deck 5 times. Maybe six.

Finally Radi won. Although that could be contested. I worked on an assignment for Art Direction for a while. I showed some of my work to Adrianne, Radi, and Sandra. Radi enjoyed chiming in on the assignment I was working on. He showed me some cool new little tricks on Photoshop (which I really should have known already).

I decided to unwind with a glass of red wine before bed. It was perfect. So satisfying.

And then the craziness began. Once the band finished their last set, I went to go put back my empty glass of wine, when the Academy coordinator offered me another glass. Apparently he and the owner of the lodge were good friends and the owner was opening up bottles left and right and the vino was flowing like a pagan festival. Let us please keep in mind the author of this story had but two glasses of wine. That's it. Two. For those of you who have imbibed with said author, however, you know two is all it talks for our light-weight writer to get drunk off his patootey.

I was fine, though. It was everyone else! The coordinator got super drunk and started spouting some very interesting stories about previous Academy trips. The lodge owner ended up ripping his own shirt (I guess in some mock display of anguish over a departing guest??). Then there was the event which I had never before witnessed in all of my life: the rafter race.

A lodge tradition, apparently two people race across the rafters under the vaulted ceiling. I guess the winner gets to keep both of his legs intact.

A bit later, as we are all clearing out, one the of students (a kind of older guy from Czechoslovakia) who clearly had too much to drink about three hours ago, boldly declares he is going to harass the girls' cabin and "make sure they are okay". Oi veh. We chase him down. Three times. And convince him to just go straight to bed. One of his friends made sure of that, I trust.

Meanwhile, the lodge owner must also be chased down before he gets into his car and drives drunk. Here I am, not sober enough to be entirely sure of my own footing trying to flag down this guy who is tripping over his own feet. He got angry that I tried to help him, insisting he knew the place better than I did because he owned it. I bit my tongue to keep from saying that he was so drunk he probably couldn't find his way to the nearest tree.

Afterward, I listened to the coordinator ramble for a bit and then managed to finally bow out and return to my own cabin. Whew! I hate having to take care of people that don't know how to moderate.

The next morning I found out our lovely Czech friend had left a fun surprise for everyone in the bathroom. Vomit. He had been vomiting throughout the night, and the bathroom and adjacent area reeked. Rather than venture into the bathroom myself, I chose to gather my belongings and high tail it to breakfast. Sandra was pretty pissed at the Czech guy.

The drive home was pretty quiet. I think a lot of people were hungover. I just wanted more sleep! I had been running on next to no sleep for weeks now and this weekend was not helping, going to bed well after midnight and waking up early in the morning.

It was wonderful to get out of the city. The trip was worth it just for that. San Francisco really is its own bubble, and it was an experience just to see suburbia on the pit stops we made. Yosemite itself was wonderful. I love trees, and thought of my dear friends Sara Black, Nathalie Staffler, and John Kovalenko who really understand what it is to commune with the trees and feel their spirit. I wished they were there with me. I wished I could find friends like them in San Francisco. It would be a wonderful gift if I could. I don't know how many people really experience nature in that way.

When I returned to the city, however, I was also glad to be back home. For better or worse, this city has become my home.

Life Updates


Okay. So I have not been blogging as I should. What else is new?

Life is plugging along. In fact, I am loving life! :D I am finally done posing for that art school, which means I can sleep more, which also means I am no longer making my coffee thermos mug my best friend. It was hard. Last Thursday was a roller coaster of fatigue and gruesome headaches.

I am back in the dating scene, which is also great. I am not super-eager to jump into a new relationship, thank you very much, but I am also not going to turn away from something potentially good. I am trying to live my life with no regrets, and it would be a shame to look back and wonder what if I hadn't turned down that really great guy. So, yeah, I am just trying to have some fun, 'cause, hey, a fella has to find something to do on a Friday night, right? So far it has been fun. I'll let you guys know if anything actually comes of any of these dates

That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying being able stay home when i want, being able to watch silly TV shows, and being able to throw myself into school.

Speaking of which, I really love my new program! I am so glad this is where I have kind of fallen into. A master's in graphic design would have been disastrous. Instead, I find my studies incredibly challenging and stimulating. The sheer number of concepts I have to come up with for ads is astounding. I actually find myself more drawn to account planning and copywriting, art direction seems entirely too fussy still. If it weren't so late, I would maybe explain what all of those things mean, but I still have another post to dash off.

All in all, life is good. I am excited for this party coming up on Friday and Sara, my beloved Sara is getting married this December! and I am going to make every effort to go up to Provo for the wedding. I am sure there is more exciting stuff to relay, but I can't think of anything at 2:30 in the morning.

Oh! For those of you who are wondering about my dad, I just spoke with him today, sounds like he is doing just great. Let's just hope he takes good care of himself, so we (I) don't have to go through another big scare. Thanks to those of you who prayed for him and who expressed concern.

SATC Revisited




Well, I just finished watching Sex and the City for the second time (now out on DVD). I have been determined to watch this wonderful piece of cinematic fluff for a few weeks now, but time never permitted. Sometimes, however, you just have to make time for the things that count.

Oh gosh, I am waxing Carrie.

Anyway, my assessment upon second viewing: it translates much better to the small screen. Nonetheless there are a few contentions I still make: Big's sudden cold feet seem contrived, the whole series of mix ups surrounding the wedding day are so contrived. In the small screen viewing I do seem to care more about the Carrie-Big storyline than I did in the theater. Miranda and Steve are still the more real couple.

Samantha may be catapulted to my new favorite character. She is just such a ray of sunshine in the lives of her friends. Like, seriously the most loyal, true friend anyone could ask for, and the most loyal, true girlfriend. I was once again really impressed at how much she was willing to sacrifice for her relationship.

Charlotte . . even though I sometimes insist I would much rather be a Charlotte than an ill-fated Carrie (as every online test seems to assert), Charlotte was practically a caricature the entire time. There's got to be more going on with this woman. I mean come on! Also, Big's character I don't believe was really allowed to fully be himself in the film.

All this being said, I think I well definitely buy this movie. It can be one of those movies I watch when I want to be depressed about relationships or entertained by pretty clothes. Perhaps I can enjoy gluttonous consumer consumption via this film rather than engaging in any myself, because really what more does a guy need than a intellectually light film and a good bowl ice cream?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Belligerent Bill

What is crazy to me is that millions of conservatives turn to Bill O' Reilly for perspective and wisdom on important issues, that this man has a voice and say in national issues to a significant degree.

THIS man.

The camera don't lie.

Then again, maybe he was on the same drugs Rush Limbaugh was taking. Either way, sit back and watch Bill O'Reilly hilariously freak out over tele-propmter issues.

Ha ha. Makes you feel sorry if that's also the way he sexually harasses his employees.



See more funny videos at Funny or Die




Friday, October 3, 2008

Break Up w/ Brandon


Well, it's true. We've broken up. I am going to try and deliver this in a brief chronological timeline, with as much emotional distance as possible.

SUNDAY SEP 14

We return from a fun weekend with friends in the Redwood forests by Santa Cruz. Was a great weekend.

While on Facebook that night, I realize we still have not changed our facebook statuses to indicate we are dating. Well, we have been dating for awhile now, I figure. This is no fly-by-night thing. We should change our status. So I sound an email to my boyfriend indicating that we should.

I IM with later that night and he avoids talking about the email I sent. Frustrated I bring it up. He avoids it even more and says he wants to go to bed. Fine.

Vexed, I leave a voicemail message on his phone about how frustrated I am with his little evasive game. This frustration is fed by other incidences which make me feel like he just sometimes plays a game to avoid talking about things he doesn't want to (which sometimes feels like just about anything).

The entire night I worry about that voicemail and I can't sleep. Have I seriously fucked things up? Why did I let my anger get the better of me?

MONDAY
I wake up the next morning exhausted having gotten little sleep and head over to this temporary job I got posing for an art school every morning form 9-12.

At this point I can't remember if I left a second message last night or in the morning, but I leave second message saying I am sorry and that I want to talk to him, because, first of all, I feel we need to talk about why he clearly doesn't want to change his status and secondly I want to discuss my frustration with feeling like I am always the one bringing stuff up and that I think it is ridiculous to be dating for almost four months and still feeling like I cant express myself emotionally.

So I go to pose and I feel wrought with anxiety that I may have just done something to begin the demise of me and Brandon, that perhaps he will be like "Whoa! This is way more drama than I want. Good-bye."

I feel so sick that I may lose Brandon.

On my break, I randomly run into Brandon's best friend, Renato on the street. I feel the overwhelming desire to fall into Renato's arms and weep that I am afraid I am going to lose Brandon. I want to sit with Renato and have him help me understand this confusing man I am dating and sleeping with.

Of course, I do not do this. I have to go back to work and he is with a friend.

I spend the rest of the day looking and feeling like crap. I don't really remember what else happens.

It is Monday night that Brandon and I speak and he sounds like his normal self and like there is absolutely no reason for concern. I am relived. We are us. We are fine. We will continue to be us.

He apologizes for not being available this morning and we agree to meet and talk on Wed.

TUESDAY
Don't really remember, except that I feel better and like my life will be fine and I can focus on school. I am anxious because that night of little sleep threw a wrench in my entire already very full week and I am worried now about getting everything done that I need to get done with the hours I will have to put in to make up for my sleep deficiency.

WEDNESDAY
The day goes well. I want to look my best for Brandon that night, but I dont have time. So I dont shave, don't do my hair (kind of looked passable), and tried to dress nicely for the day.

I talk to my mom and dad on the phone. It is actually a really good, long conversation. We talk about life and my mother confides in me some of things going on in the family. She and my father both express pleasure at how happy and at peace I sound. This pleases me because i hope this is the beginning of them realizing I am genuinely more happy.

I am talking to my mom on my way over to Brandon's house for our talk.

I arrive and everything is fine and seems normal. Brandon is hungry (and so am I), so we make dinner together in his kitchen as we often have. There is sharing of the day's occurrences, there is joking, kisses, affection. It is good.

We agree to watch a video while we eat and watch the end of the video while we cuddle on the couch. It is really perfect.

When that video is done, Brandon brightly proposes we watch Project Runway.

But, um, I am kind of here to talk. I did not make time in my schedule to come over here just to lie around and watch TV!

Brandon is resigned, and we sit to talk. Sequences of everything are muddled.

It does come out that Brandon didn't want to talk because he would rather have us cuddling, feeling nice, and everything staying the same.

But the truth comes out. Brandon did not want to change his status because he does not see us as being a long-term thing, and he has kind of felt that way for a while. So. I am not marriage potential.

He has been holding back all along. He says he has wanted to feel this way for me, but something has been holding him back and he feels we are different places in our lives.

I am dismayed and at the same time I am kicking myself because I feel vindicated for every anxiety I have had gnawing in the back of my head that Brandon was indeed holding back. Every one of those anxieties I have fought hard to dismiss and to forgive any perceived short comings I saw in Brandon. I tried to be patient and understanding that he has a hard time expressing his feelings and tried to read the content of his heart in his actions (which have often been kind and affectionate and even loving). But I was right! I was right to think something was up.

And I felt like a fool. A fool for surrendering my heart to this man. A fool for once again believing in the possibility of love and happiness. How many times will I endure heart break before I realize this stuff is all for fools?

We talk and kiss and weep and cuddle for while longer, finally talking about some of the things that have been happening all along.

I weep because it is over, because this relationship that was making me so happy is over, and I am going to miss it terribly. I am going to miss Brandon, as my boyfriend, terribly. And I cry because I kind of hate myself for getting so emotionally involved and wonder if I had the capacity to be more emotionally non chalant if somehow this thing could still be going on.

Now I do not feel this way.

At one point, we are lying next each other, holding hands, and I think Brandon says something about wanting me to stay in touch and keep him informed about my life, because he doesn't want to lose me in his life. (I think it was something to that effect) And that is the moment when I cannot stand to have him touching me and when I cannot stand to be around him any longer. I am angry. I think, "Why the fuck do you even care? You just finished telling me how you don't care!" (Which is not a fair statement, I know.

I leave Brandon's house. And I reach into my phone to call on my best friends, Tai. She is an angel. She has helped me through so much crap this past summer.

My phone won't work! Sprint had sent me a couple of texts about paying my bill and I dismissed them because I could see on my bank statement that money had already gone to Sprint for this cycle. So they cut me off!!!

Well that snapped me out of my weeping, crushed, heart broken mess.

Actually, I see sawed between weeping, sobbing devastation and anger at trying to pay a bill over the phone in the middle of the night that I had already paid. I didn't care. I would fork over the cash now, and resolve the problem with Sprint later. I just needed to talk to someone.

I walked home that night rather than taking the subway or streetcar.

I thought by the time I got home I was done crying.

When my service was finally restored and I was able to call Tai, I realize I was not done.

I would not be done for awhile.

THURSDAY
I woke up feeling and looking like crap. I dragged myself to the art school, dreading 3 hours of having nothing to do but sit there, stare into space, and think.

I managed to hold myself together pretty well, but did ask them to change one song they were playing while drawing, because it was a song about heartbreak and longing.

Unfortunately, I also was supposed to go to Renato's after work to retrieve jacket I had left in his car.

I spilled the beans to Renato. He seemed shocked and offered comfort and a hug. It was appreciated but also weird. The frustrating thing is, I moved back to SF and shortly thereafter started dating Brandon. I did not have a circle of friends who were in the city and who knew me and Brandon as a couple well and could thus offer not only comfort but validation and wisdom from first-hand experience.

I thank all of my dear friends who have said, "The idiot doesn't know what he's missing." (and you're right ;)), but that's not exactly something Renato could say.

The other thing that killed me was when Renato asked if it was for sure over or if there was the possibility of reconciliation, because you know what? The funny thing is I couldn't say! Brandon seemed uncertain if he wanted things to be over or not. How killer is that? Ugh!

The thing is, I knew that for me, I could not cling to the hope of reconciliation if I was going to heal and move on and most importantly if I was going to be able to pull myself together and get my school work done.

I left Renato's and sobbed on my way home. I hate sobbing in the streets. Although, this being San Francisco, I am sure they just thought I was some crazy druggie.

I went home and slept and considered skipping class. I had not done any of the homework. All of my time was being taken up with this stupid break up!! It could not have been more horribly timed. Just after my first week of classes. If this had happened a month ago, it would have been so much better. Instead, it has seriously fucked me up with my assignments and school. Grr!

I go to class and one of my new friends, Dave, is just great and supportive. Even though he is straight, and so some things are different, the language of heart break is universal.

I am glad to be in class. It takes my mind off of everything else, and I can feel productive.

FRIDAY
I feel so much better! Hurray! I am over this whole mess! Wow. That was fast. It must be because I have grown so much.

As I leave work, I am even able to sing and laugh. I feel filled with joy and I feel like . . .myself! I am eager for the future. I embrace that I am once again single John. Living in the city. And the city is brimming with possibilities: yoga classes, art openings, volunteering, hip hop clubs, beautiful parks.

Travis (another one of my dear friends and one who thankfully lives in the area) insists on spending some time with me to help me through this time.

We meet up. Have some dinner. His Friday night plans have changed so we decide to go see a movie. The Women.

This kind of kills me because the last time Travis and I went to the movies was to see Sex and the City. So first of all that it seems like all we watch are chick flicks, but also, at that time I was just starting to see Brandon, I was seeing possibility with him, and was trying to figure out how end things with this Greek guy with whom dates were just weird and awkward.

So. My relationship with Brandon was pretty much bookended with a girl's night out with my dear friend, Travis, watching a chick flick. Weird. My life is just weird in general.

But once again, I feel great! I feel so good about myself because I am so enlightened and zen that I can take this sad event and move past it and look on it with some sadness, but overall just be accepting and forgiving and happy.

Wow. I am so progressed! And on it!

We shop for a bit after the movie and hang out at my place after the movie.

There are some kids playing rock instruments downstairs. I have never heard them do that before. I realize I can't remember the last time I was home on a Friday night. I am always at Brandon's.

I feel a little sad about that. Travis leaves.

SATURDAY
I wake up in my bed to the chirp of a text. I am supposed to meet my friend Jessie at the Museum of Modern Art!!

@#$%!!!!! I am late! Fortunately so is she.

I try to high tail it, but it is difficult because I am struck by the fact that for the first time in a long time I have woken up on a Saturday morning in my own bed. This is not right. This is not where I belong. I feel depression weighing heavily on me.

I rush to meet Jessie. It has been six years!!! It is so good to see her and am amazed at how grown up she looks. It is also kind of weird because we have only recently reconnected, but pretty soon we are chatting away.

I use my Gap ID to get us free tickets to the Frida exhibition and we have lunch together.

The Frida exhibit was fine. It was my third time seeing it, so it was a little wearing in some ways trying to muster enthusiasm. I still feel a little depressed.

I am floored and excited by the exhibit on the 2nd floor of Chagall and his contemporaries. It's like one of my textbooks brought to life!!!

I loved that and Jessie and I actually ended up spending like 7 hours together, so it was a very full day.

Then I came home. And crawled into bed. And read funny blogs. And didnt feel like doing anything else. I hid from my roommates, not wanting to talk about it. I hid from everyone, not answering my phone. I think I even kept off of Messenger.

I may have gone to the gym.

SUNDAY

I spent the entire day in bed. Reading funny blogs and watching SNL. I ventured out once to buy some groceries and then returned to the safe cocoon of my bed.

I got nothing done that weekend for school. I was even more screwed.

THE WEEKDAYS

School kept me so busy, I didn't really have time to think of much else. I think Monday I was still depressed and could find myself wanting to cry. I still avoided my roommates. But mostly, blessedly, I kept busy with school. I did find myself missing Brandon at odd times. We exchanged a couple of emails. You know, the post break up "I hope we can be friends" emails.

FRIDAY
It was Claudia's birthday. She is one of my great friends from art school (I know it seems like all of my friends are dear and great, but that's because when you move around as often as I do, you only keep in touch with the ones that count).

Her boyfriend tracked down my number through a friend of his who works at Brandon's office. So this coworker of Brandon's ask him for my number. Weird for everyone. Especially when Paul, Claudia's boyfriend invites the both of us to the party. I accept, but inform him it will only be one.

I go the party and preparing for it is kind of difficult. Friday night. I am getting ready to go out to this party that I was invited to with my boyfriend. Except I don't have a boyfriend. But I should have a boyfriend. And why don't I have boyfriend? Because of this crap that is somehow getting in the way of Brandon actually opening up.

I am getting ready for this evening and I am angry at Brandon.

I head out late and on my way out I pray to God that he will help me let go of this anger and be a positive influence at this party.

I arrive and it is a little weird because I don't know anyone there. I hate stuff like this. I always prefer to go with a friend or two to a party where i dont know anyone and am expected to mingle. You know, maybe even a partner. A boyfriend. But I am actually not angry, just wishing Brandon were there to at least be a wing man.

I meet Brandon's co-worker. I want to say his name is Jason. Maybe James. His wife's name is Jade. For the purposes of our story (and to get me to bed sooner), his name is James.

James and I hit it off! He is warm and personable and has a great sense of humor. His wife is great, too, and they are so cute together. Since we both know Brandon, of course, he does come up in conversation, and what kills me is as I am talking about him (and trying to not appear the slightest bit like the bitter ex) I realize, yeah he is a great guy. And our relationship? Well, overall it was pretty good. We are both pretty cool people who seem to balance each other out. So why they hell aren't we together???

Claudia and I are able to sit and chat and we set a date for meeting up in a couple of weeks so we can chat one on one.

I go to bed. Alone. Lame.

SATURDAY

I dont really remember (it's getting late for me folks, and I will count it a miracle if you're still reading all of this). I think I went to the gym. I briefly go out to the neighborhood bar. This guy kind of starts getting flirty with me. I am not feeling it. I leave. I go home. Watch SNL. Go for a late night walk. Come home.

SUNDAY
FIrst half of the day, more funny clips and SNL. I lose my patience with hanging out in bed. I have too much to do! Not to mention I have run out of clean socks and my sheets are past due.

I start getting my butt into gear.

Surprisingly, Brandon is on Messenger. As far as I know, he is NEVER on Messenger, except at work. Whenever we have IMed on a weekend (or after 7pm) it has been via Facebook. He pops and says "Hi." We have a truly weird conversation that kind of lasts most of the day, where we try being buddy buddy and friendly.

I am not sure if there is something specific he wants to say or if there is a direction in which he wants to chat.

It is nice to talk to him, though, so I maintain the conversation.

I do laundry, I do some homework, I clean my room abit (which at this point looks like a missing section of the local waste repository).

WEEKDAYS
By Monday I am just so over being mopey about this whole thing. I have a life to live and I can't let this keep me in bed or depressed anymore! I have too much to do and a profession that requires me to be clever and witty and personable, not withdrawn, sleep deprived to the point of zero brain functioning, and perpetually late.

This past week has gone pretty okay. Yesterday and today were just fine. I have a busy weekend coming up, but honestly, I think even if I didn't, I would be okay. I have settled into single John again, and it is kind of nice to have my own schedule. I have even done a bit of flirting on-line, and that has been fun, but I am not eager to jump into a relationship right now. Even if I was, I don't know that i would really have the time.

It is funny, because as soon as Brandon and I broke up, I actually got hit on by all of these guys. Guys that had been pursuing me before Brandon and I dated suddenly popped up out of nowhere. I suddenly noticed men checking me out all over the place. A couple of guys asked me out on dates. And you know what? It all just infuriated me!!

At this point, it does not, but like I said I am not looking to start something up. At the same time, I want to build up a network of friends here in the city, and that means getting out there.

Next weekend I am going to Yosemite, but I think after that, I am really going to make an effort to put myself out there and meet new people.

I am just glad I have gotten all of this out there. Now I can blog about all of the fun stuff that has been happening! There have actually been quite a few things, but I haven't felt like I could until I blogged about this. And also, to be honest, I was kind of avoiding my blog for that first week.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Hope It's A Nice Handbasket


I realized today I am going to hell (and, no, this is not because I am in advertising. Or because I eat meat. Or because I am a Democrat. (or because I'm a fag).

I was on my way to work this morning, running late (what else is new), and worrying about the fact that I would probably have to ask for tomorrow off, when I saw this guy in a wheelchair. His destination seemed uncertain; it was possible he was addressing this woman on the sidewalk. Then, in a fumbling maneuver, he lodged his wheel in a sidewalk cut out (you know the ones they plant trees in), and completely tipped over his wheelchair!

I was unsure if he was inebreated or homeless, but I was concerned. I was also very aware that I was running late. I saw the woman move towards and I kept walking. Right past the both of them. Interiorly I felt I knot of conflicted emotions, mostly running heavy on guilt. But I was in a hurry! I turned back to see how bad the situation was (especially since I really wasn't sure if the woman could handle this bigger man) and saw a man rush out from the community center to help.

I sped up my pace and made it to the bus stop in time.I could see the bus approaching. I convinced myself the situation was under control and he would be fine.

As we are boarding the bus, suddenly there is wheelchair dude!! I am mortified. I thought he must hold me in the utmost contempt. I was also a little concerned, because he wasn't altogether lucid and as it is it is quite a process to quite a handicapped person on the bus. I thought, "How late is this going to make me?"

I know! I am awful!

While I warred internally between embarrassment, shame, chagrin, and impatience, apparently the wheelchair dude was turned away! He was instructed to wait for the next bus that could accommodate his wheelchair better (this mode of conveyance was an early 20th century German import trolley train with a very narrow aisle and bolted in wooden seats). The bus driver shouted that the next bus was right behind him. Wheelchair guy was cussing up a storm and wheeling his way to the wheelchair ramp to wait for the next bus. I could still hear him cussing as we drove away.

My first reaction was relief. Relief that I would not be too late, and also relief that I would not have to endure a bus ride in the vicinity of this reminder of my great ignominy. I was also shocked. At myself!

Who have I become? Am I just such a jaded urbanite? Am i so ego-centric? I was reminded of the scripture passage that says "that which ye do unto the least of these my brethren, ye do unto me." Did I just in essence leave Christ tipped over for other people to tend to him? In the parable of the good Samaritan, I would be one of the schmucks who left the guy to die by the side of the road!

That was when I realized I am going to hell.

This is not news that sits easy on you first thing in the morning on your way to work. I thought about what had changed about me. I don't know. I mean, i feel like I am genuinely kind to people around me, and that when I can, I do help people. I feel that I still have that same good heart as always, but this incidence left my heart larded in guilt. The only thing i can think of is committing to 50 hours of community service (minimum) to make an in-road to redemption.


So I decided. No more qualms, no more delaying. I will start searching for a volunteer opportunity this weekend, and once I finish my gig posing for this art class (in 10 days), I am going to volunteer again.

I only hope it is not too late to redeem my soul.

**No, that is not a picture of the actual site. It is just something I quickly found on Google to illustrate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The I-Phone!

Okay, I am sorry. I know I am longer overdue for some serious updates. They are coming. Life has been busy and . . . eventful. I will get to it, I swear.

In the mean time, enjoy this hilarious video about the lovely I-Phone! :)

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Toblerone Revisited




One of my assignments was to find three great examples of art direction, these could include examples of great packaging. I already had two great examples in the bag, so I just figured I could easily find something in the school library on the way to class. Of course, Murphy's Law being what it is, that did not work out and I was hustling to class with a pretty lame third example in my camera.

Because "the city is our campus" (read: the Academy has a proliferation of buildings scattered about the city rather than one central locus), I passed a convenience store on the way to class. After weighing my options, I decided I could perhaps find an iconic piece of packaging in this way station purveyor of cheap goods and make it to class maybe only five minutes late.

After some frantic scanning, I settled on a bottle of Vitamin Water (I would rely on my silver tongue to pull me through on this one) and then I spotted it: a display of Toblerone Dark.

I smiled at the fond memories of BYU it ellicited. For those of you who knew me then, you may know that I always carried with me a bar of Toblerone. I used it the way most ravers use E. I relied on its dark, rich complex sweetness to intensify and enrich a moment of delight and transcendence, or in a time of fatigue or gloom I would use its transportive powers to lift my spirits.

Toblerone was my gateway to appreciating all gustatorial experiences dark and bitter.

I had to grab a bar. I thought perhaps I could expound on its iconic irregular shape and pleasing, dark-toned packaging.

I didn't use it for my presentation. But I did have two pieces in class and am now on my third.

It wasn't quite as magical as I remember, but you know what? I think it's still my favorite chocolate. It still has that wonderful smoothness with dark, earthy undertones, managing to be very sweet without being frivolous, getting to very essence of what chocolate is about without a bunch of milk fillers or wax or funny berry additives.

And give it the right space of quiet and appreciation and it can still transport you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

OD on NPR


"Young man found in alley in an apparent state of acute shock. Emergency response personnel found the man shivering, spasming, and mumbling incoherent strings of words and phrases. The only decipherable words, say personnel, were 'Dow Jones Industrial', 'Palin vetting', and 'Iraqi surge'."

. . . You might soon find this report in your local news. I realized today I may well be overdosing on my consumption of news. I realized this today as I was walking to the subway from class and I glanced at the front page of a newspaper. I think it was the Washington Post. I could be wrong. The headline was about misconduct by department of interiors employees, accepting gifts and sexual favors. "Ugh," I thought,"that is such old news. I can't believe it's still on the front page."

Then I realized I had just heard that news story yesterday or that very morning and that it was actually pretty new. I had just heard so much news between the time I had heard that story and the time I saw the headline, that I had already tired of the news I had already heard. Before I had hit that news stand, I had glimpsed CNN Headline News talking about the Obama lipstick story and thought,"Can we please put this story to rest!" but my classmates had not heard about this news story at all. All of this happened while I was listening to a podcast of a discussion panel on NPR. Hmm. Perhaps I am exposing myself to a glut of news. I hear it so much, even the new stuff is getting old.

Perhaps I need a hiatus. At present, I have 11 different news agencies on my internet bookmarks and regularly read whatever pops up on Yahoo's main page. I also subscribe to two magazines (GQ and Conde Nast Portfolio) and browse through the Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly that arrive at our home. I also regularly listen to NPR on average and hour and half a day. No wonder I feel I don't have enough time! Bah!

When I wake up, my first move is to open my lap top (before I have even gotten out of bed), check my email, and then check the New York Times to make sure the world hasn't come to an end while I slept.

The thing is, if I took a hiatus, I know I would come back and immediately check the papers and NPR to catch up on what I missed while I was gone. Maybe I should just budget. No more than half an hour of news reading in one day. Hmm. We'll have to see. I think school will soon solve the question of discretionary time anyway.

*The above photo is me in a sports bar this past Monday with some friends. I haven't been in a sports bar in awhile, but it was fun to play pool. Apparently, this is what I do when I am not having an aneurysm over the Right's (and much of middle America's) blind support of hypocritical politicians.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I am pooped!



As promised this photo has nothing to with my post. I just found these legs so wonderfully expressive and full of personality, I just had to take a picture. I think it's the combination of the lively pant pattern and the position of the feet. I have no idea what this woman's face looks like.

So I am so exhausted!!! But i have been chatting with Tai, and I am multitasking and blogging as we chat. Ah, Tai. She is my balm of Gilead. It's crazy how we've totally reconnected. Now we just need to get in the same area code! But that's another story.

Why am I so beat you ask?

Well, i just had my first day of school.It was actually rather anticlimactic and brief, nonetheless I think i kicked some trash! And I am revved to kick some major trash right into a primo spot in a killer ad agency!

I am so excited for our first assignment. All I have to do is read from this book, create a storyboard and design 25 logos.

So I went to class after switching sections, because the other section was screwing up my schedule. When I got into the building I was dripping in sweat because we are in a heat wave and I was hiking all over the city to get to class in a thick, long-sleeved oxford shirt.I was just grateful I didn't have taco sauce all over my face after having my face buried in del taco wrappers during my hike.

Did I mention that on my back was a back pack I have been trucking with me since last Sunday? Yup I have been a vagabond since last Sunday. So here I am with every electronic I own in my messenger bag(laptop, camera, Ipod, cellphone) and every toiletry I own (which y'all know that collection is extensive) and a few changes of clothes with shoes in my backpack. My back was killing me by the end of the day.

Why am I going into all this detail?? My thoughts are barely cogent.

Listen here is the breakdown:

Sunday to Wed morning was in Merced, CA. Took train in on Wed. Afternoon at gym. Evening and night at Brandon's. Thurs. morning go from Brandon's to this Academy breakfast where I try desperately to justify my graduate school debt by filling up on "free" french toast and pastry. Breakfast to work at lame job. Lame job to class.

Class is a let down because it is cut short. Go to library. Try drinking some green tea for caffeine. I still end up passing out for half an hour in library. Take creative route home. My back is so freakin arched from weight of backpack I want to rip out my own spinal column and trade it in for a new one.

Have two bites of ice cream for dinner and head out to the symphony with Brandon, where I have an absolutely wonderful time. The concert hall was beautiful. Stunning views of the city. The music was dramatic and interesting.

Said good bye to my man on the subway. And now here I am wondering why on earth I am typing when I should be showering and snuggling into bed.

Latah folks!

Oh! Wait! I talked to my folks today! That also made today really good! They're both doing fine. My dad sounds like his health is really improving. My mom is watching out for him. It was just good to hear from both of them.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Preliminary Palin Post

Oh you can bet your bonnet I am going to have more to say about Mc Cain's VP pick in just a bit, but I have a busy weekend ahead of me. However, I have to make a note of this little gaffe before I forget to bring it up.

I just heard her acceptance speech. First of all, kudos to Mc Cain for such a gutsy pick. I have to acknowledge this will make the race even more interesting. I have so many opinions on this Palin pick. But as I was listening to Palin's speech, I couldn't help but nit-pick about one little thing: the woman cannot say nuclear!!! Is this evidence of her lack of education? Or is this some weird GOP nod to their idiot leader, Bush? Some show of fealty? Let's all mispronounce nuclear! Maybe it will catch on, and George W. won't look like such a dunce!

I have noticed others in the Republican party pronounce it "nuke-ew-lar." Makes me nervous that people making decisions on policy about "nuke-lee-ar" weapons can't even follow simple reading rules for English. Shouldn't a party pushing for English-only regulations in the U.S. have representatives that have at least a college-level command of the language?

Also, before I forget, I cannot BELIEVE all of the Republicans that cheered when Palin brought up Hillary Clinton as a predecessor and a person due praise and admiration for her campaign. Wasn't this the party that was RIPPING Clinton apart?? Weren't Fox News commentators declaring they would rather slit their own wrists than have Clinton leading the country?

Maybe they drugged up the audience beforehand so they would cheer at anything presented.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dad Update

Just got back from the hospital. Dad had six by-passes. Which, yeah, is a lot. But the doctor is confident that he is strong and will be just fine. In six weeks he should be pretty recovered. I coudl give more gory details, but that is the important stuff. Now I am just relieved and exhausted.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Call for Prayers

Well, it looks like despite my best efforts, I cannot keep a steady stream of up-beat posts.

I am asking anyone who is reading this to please pray for my father.

Last night, he had a mild heart attack and stroke. My mother called me this morning. At first they thought a simple angioplasty like the one he had ten years ago would do the trick, but after the angiogram they decided that open-heart surgery would be necessary.

I am obviously very concerned. This is a lot more serious, with greater risks and a much tougher road to recovery.

I am going to see how I can make my way over to St. George to see him.

I just ask that you please pray for him and for our family.

Thanks to all of you,

John

Enchiladas and Hammerstein




I am running out of blogging steam. We'll try to keep this one brief.

Nathalie came to visit this weekend!! It was so good to see her! It's funny, we have both gone on these crazy personal, emotional journeys, and yet, it seems like in so many we're still just the same old people as always.

Nathalie was going to spend the night and Alice (our dear friend all the way from France) was supposed to, as well. So I took it into my crazy head to make a Mexican dinner from scratch. I thought it would be simple and economical. A better option than going out to eat. I never claimed all of my ideas were works of brilliance.

I was kind of stressed about making the enchilada sauce. I had never before attempted it, and I could not get my mother's recipe in time. So I rolled the dice a bit. It actually was my favorite part of the meal. I think everyone was more impressed by the homemade horchata, perhaps because it is rare to find homemade horchata. It was all pretty darned good. It was all pretty darned messy, too.

Nathalie's friend, Karl, visited for a while, too. He showed surprising acumen for power cheese grating, and everyone in general was a huge help in preparing the meal; Brandon in particular, whose knifing skills I think would make my father proud.

After a lovely post-meal musing on dance, religion, and music in the darkened living room while listening to Sigur Ros and Alexi Murdoch, we ventured into the damp of the city to get some ice cream and watch the fog shrouded city. Nathalie just about died from the cold of SF.

Nothing of earth-shattering consequence was discussed that evening, but I think that is great. We have phones for conversation. Live interpersonal contact is for ... enjoying the intangible qualities of a person's presence. It was a wonderful night for me, being there with one my dearest friends and with this wonderful man I am seeing who makes me smile and laugh.

Saturday passed without much of consequence. I was pretty exhausted in general from lack of sleep and an early morning. We did hang out with Brandon's sister and her bf and friends for a bit. She is such a delightful person with infectious enthusiasm. I hope to get to know her better.

Sunday was the day I was really looking forward to. We were supposed to go listen to live opera in the park! We packed up a blanket, some fried chicken and other goodies and headed for Stern Grove.

Of course, it being Sunday, the babies of San Francisco who have been cloistered away all week by their nannies were out in full force. Brandon had to endure my constant ooh-ing and aah-ing. How he managed to endure it patiently I'll never know. But, you know, when you live in a world of nothing but adults, it is such a wonderful treat to meet these little beings of curiosity and mysterious drives.

It was also a pleasant surprise to take the subway to park. Something of a cognitive dissonance that actually seemed to really work in the confines of the city of San Francisco.

The grove was beautiful. A piece of California woods in the middle of the city. The air was pungent with eucalyptus. Particles of dew seemed to gently kiss my cheeks. I couldn't help but smile, both in revelry of the moment and in anticipation for the music to come.

The grove was packed! The NPR crowd was out in full force! Yeah! Mah peeps!

Everyone was picnicking on wine and baguettes and fruit.

We were soon joined by Brandon's friend, Mike. He was a pleasant person, although apparently to some he has a reputation for brashness. His friend, however, was another story. He was loud and talkative, making no effort to stifle his laughter. During the performances. I wanted to cringe.

Eventually one of our blanket neighbors (a pair of very classy lesbians?) asked Mike's friend to quiet down. He scoffed and seemed to flippantly refuse to quiet down even as he put on his shoes to depart.

I wish I could say I was sorry to see him go. He seemed like a nice guy, but rudeness and inconsideration are major sins in my book (much like sloth and apathy are to my parents (and to me, come to think of it)).

After he left, the experience was much more pleasant. When Mike did have to leave, I was sorry to see him go. He had some funny jokes up his sleeve, and apparently a tantalizing story about Brandon. Renato joined us, however, and I was glad for that. Renato is one of Brandon's best friends and he is this great combination of easy-going hippy and sharp-as-a-tack funny guy/intellectual. He's also really sincere and kind (both great virtues in my book).

The first performance itself was really good. It was a rendition of Summertime from Porgy and Bess. It turns out the whole concert was to be a selection of songs from American composers. It ended up being an afternoon of Gershwin and Rogers and Hammerstein. Which was fine, but I would have preferred an afternoon of Verdi and Puccini. I am not that into musicals. I know. Shocker. A gay guy not into musicals, but there you have it.

Like I was saying, the first performer was really good. Her rendition of Summertime was unusually haunting and ghostly. The main performer of the afternoon was a woman Mike and Brandon dubbed the 'crispy' lady. Picture a tanned out, buffed out Rue Mac Clanahan. Her voice was pleasant, but lacked some strength. Overall, though, it was a fun experience. The park was beautiful, the music was good and generally lively, and the people were some of my favorite people of San Francisco.

We ended the evening watching Across the Universe, which was pretty amazing in HD. I wonder if I would liked it was much if it weren't in HD. My favorite was Bono's performance.

Well, this ended up being a much longer entry than I had anticipated. I am off to work off some of those gummi colas and cookies and cream ice cream I ate over the weekend. Mmm. Ice cream sounds good.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Subway Scintillations

Here's is the lovely subway station which is the first destination for me on pretty much any venture into the city.

Included are a few photos of an eviscerated escalator.

Man, my blog is so educational!